On Hong Kong Imposing Travel Visas for Filipinos

In spite of being considered as a territory of Mainland China, Hong Kong has been granted autonomy that make this place, according to the Index of Economic Freedom, the most economically free region in the whole world. Although still far from a libertarian utopia, Hong Kong remains to be a very useful data point in propagating ideas of free trade, open borders, and small government.

In the video above from his documentary Free to Choose, Milton Friedman discusses how market forces in Hong Kong, in spite of having almost no natural resources (it's almost like a giant piece of rock, really, and nothing else), helped provide one of the most peaceful and prosperous regions in Asia and perhaps the world. Aside from that, it helped introduce capitalism to Mainland China which probably alleviated more oppression and poverty than any form of charity or socialist policy we've ever tried in history (see also Charter Cities).

That being said, it makes for a strong case against Hong Kong imposing travel visas for Filipinos, or any other nation for that matter, as it is against the very essence of what helped build Hong Kong what it is today.

I understand how frustrating it may be for those affected by the tragic and condemnable actions of that hostage-taker in Manila several years back. And I understand that the policymakers intend for nothing but justice. But as Friedman once mentioned, we shouldn't be here to question the intentions of policies but instead look into their unintended consequences.

I am obviously a strong supporter of open borders. I believe that no group of people have legitimate power to draw imaginary lines over geographic locations and private properties. For now, I would just like to state that their government's decision to scrap visa-free access for Filipinos and any further sanctions on travel and trade is against the ideas that Hong Kong stands for.

If you liked this post then you might also like:
1. Gurgaon City in India
2. Milton Friedman's Pencil
3. St. James Bazaar and the Free Market

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